TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - The Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that would expand registration-fee discounts for boat owners who have locator beacons.
The issue stems from the July 2015 disappearance of Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, two 14-year-olds from Tequesta who went missing after steering a 19-foot boat out of the Jupiter Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean.
Lawmakers last year approved discounts for recreational boaters who have or buy "emergency position indicating radio beacon," or EPIRB, devices.
The Senate voted 34-0 to approve the bill (HB 711) to expand the discounts and to make them permanent. The House last week also passed the measure unanimously, meaning it is now ready to go to Gov. Rick Scott.
Under the bill, the discounted fee for boats between 12 and 16 feet would drop from $13.77 to $11; for boats between 16 and 26 feet, the fee would go from $24.83 to $20.40; and for boats between 26 feet and 40 feet, the fee would fall from $68.56 to $57.50.